THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
February 15, 2021
The regular meeting of the Board of Public Works was held on February 15, 2021 at 4:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Those in attendance were President John Neer, Vice President Brian Terry, Board Member David Ausmus, Board Member David Wilt, General Manager Stephanie Wilson, Assistant to the General Manager Benjamin Stueve, Controller Jennifer McLeland, Mayor James “Talt” Holman, City Administrator Avis Marshall and City Councilman Anthony Petre. Assistant to the General Manager Bryce Butner was unable to be present due to working on the Audrain Energy Center.
President John Neer called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm. Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to approve the minutes from the January 19, 2021 meeting. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Discussion immediately began on the natural gas supply and exorbitantly higher than normal market prices from suppliers along with the recent onset of freezing temperatures that affected the mid-continental United States. MMU’s price per unit from February 1 – 16, 2021, ranged from $2.10 per dekatherm to about $225.00 per dekatherm. This vertical increase in market price for natural gas will cause MMU’s purchase of natural gas to exceed $400,000 per day for February 13 – 16, 2021. Based on February 2020 usage, MMU had secured 82% of the daily usage for February 2021 at prices between $2.10 and $2.55 per dekatherm. It is unknown the total impact of increased usage due to colder than normal temperatures and sky rocketing market prices. The Board requested that a letter be sent to customers to alert them to the situation and to promote energy conservation to allow for the continued supply of electricity and natural gas.
Discussion then proceeded with the agenda item to Hedge the Purchase of Natural Gas for November 2021 to March 2022. President John Neer made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to recommend to the City Council of Macon, Missouri to allow for the hedging of 50% of Macon’s historical load for 3 years, 119,688 dekatherms, for November 2021 to March 2022 at $3.00 per dekatherm or less. After approval by the City Council, the transaction would be solicited by MMU’s account manager at Kinect Energy and approved by MMU. The motion carried with four votes for and none against. The hedge recommendation will be on the agenda for approval at the City Council meeting to be held on February 16, 2021. In January 2021, an order for the same quantities was approved at $2.60 per dekatherm, but the contract was unable to be secured.
Regarding the Review of Financials for December 2020 and January 2021, General Manager Stephanie Wilson touched on activity and noted that it is going to be necessary to amend the budget for 2021 due to natural gas commodity prices and the unknown effect to electric commodity expenses impacted by the recent winter storm’s activity on the natural gas market.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of Wastewater Collection Relining and Manhole Rehabilitation. After a review of bids and a discussion, Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to accept the low bid from Municipal Pipe and Tool Co., LLC in the amount of $101,774.00 and to allow for additional sections to be added to rehabilitate up to the $125,000 budgeted amount for this activity. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was a Review of the New Construction Fee Sheet. After discussion Vice President Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to approve no price changes in the new construction fee sheet. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of Truck and Labor Rates. Vice President Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to approve the submitted labor rate increases for wages, benefits and taxes but no changes to truck fees. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of Net Metering Service and Electrical System Integration Policy. President John Neer made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to approve verbiage in the Net Metering Service and Electrical System Integration Policy clarifying customer responsibilities that should specialized equipment need to be purchased these costs would be passed through to the customer. The policy will be reviewed by the City Council in March 2021 to update Article IV Electric System, Chapter 28, Section 28-276 of Macon City Code. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
It was decided to table the agenda items for the Approval of the North Water Tower Rehabilitation, Approval to Proceed with Replacement of Insulators for the 69 KV line, Review of Cash Reserve Statement, Discussion of Wastewater User Charge Ordinance, and Recommendation of Board of Public Works By-Laws for a future meeting.
Under manager reports, updates were given regarding utility installation or new construction conversations for Agri-Genesis, environmental remediation activities related to the former Toastmaster building, and the new Weatherby Ridge housing development. It was also discussed that MMU staff had met with the Macon Housing Authority to discuss the lift station at Lakeside Apartments. Following discussion of the present condition of the lift station, President John Neer made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to accept ownership of the lift station following all repairs and updates required to bring it current with Missouri Department of Natural Resources specifications. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Assistant to General Manager Ben Stueve shared operations for the Macon and Audrain Energy Centers were also noted with maintenance and natural gas input cost discussions. General Manager Stephanie Wilson shared information regarding two wastewater back-up claims on Madison Street due to a collapsed 12” wastewater/stormwater main. MMU replaced the section of main and installed a manhole on Vine Street for better access to the area. Activities at the water and wastewater treatment plants were also shared. Construction activities on the headworks at the wastewater treatment plant have stalled in the past few days and is expected to continue due to the winter weather.
After approval of accounts payable and setting a special meeting for Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm, a motion was made by President John Neer, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed with four votes for and none against.
President John Neer adjourned the meeting at 5:40 pm